In part two of a two part interview, former TNA X Division champion, Rockstar Spud took time to participate in an exclusive interview with PWMania.com. Spud discusses this thoughts on his feud with Ethan Carter III, working alongside Dixie Carter and the evolution of the Rockstar Spud character being more personal than ever before. Check out part one of the interview here and part two of the interview below:
What did it mean to you to win the TNA British Boot Camp challenge? What did you expect coming out of it?
You can see that when they announced that I was the winner and I collapsed to the ground on my knees crying my eyes out that you know what it meant to me. You know, you know what it meant to me. It meant everything to me. It meant all my years of telling my friends that I’m not going out on a Saturday because I have to roll around in a wrestling ring. In their eyes, so you’re missing out family and for rolling around in a ring with a dude? Or oil and micro? Dude, you fight and perform man and nothing is going to happen. That’s all, I used to hear every day. I have friends go, hey man, why don’t you get a jacket on and come travelling with us? And do this and do that? I’m like guys, I don’t know why I know I just know there is a purpose for me I just gotta stay. I’m going to stay the course. I really believe in this. I believe in myself. Even when my mom and dad say, you know you should really pack it in. I believed in myself. I didn’t feel like I was stupid anymore. It meant so much to me. So much. Then after when I moved to OVW, I realised I didn’t really know what I thought I knew and had more to learn and it was the best 10 month education of my life. What I was worried about the whole time was whole journey had been portrayed on television and if I wasn’t a success I would have been a failure in front of everybody because it was all played out in front of everybody. So if I was never heard from again. Whoops a daisy, there he goes. So that was my motivation, not to be a failure, not to let them invest all that television time in me and then have it end with disappointed. It was not going to happen and that was my drive when I was in OVW. I learned as much as I could and I enjoyed being a sponge and still enjoy being a sponge to this day learning everything and skies the limit. As long as you keep an open mind and take everyone’s opinion on board, that’s what you should be doing. Don’t be arrogant to your own opinions. It’s a subjective business. So what may work and some may not work. It may work for someone else it may not work for you. So that’s how I always looked at it. I always wanted to learn.
You had a chance to work in Ohio Valley Wrestling? Did you have a chance to work with Danny Davis and Rip Rogers? How do you think you benefitted from that experience?
Both were just tremendous characters just as people. My training was done extensively with Al Snow who is my mentor. I was trained in the United Kingdom before that. Al taught me so much and still continues to teach me so much and any time I need to go for advice he’s still there. I’m one of his kids and I’m very proud of that. Danny and Rip, if I did something wrong, I’d be going to Danny’s office and the only time I did something wrong the next day I had to choke down a lot of red wine. I got my punishment, I got my licks and off we go. Rip, was an interesting cat himself but was a pro wrestling genius an absolute genius and you can see it in his tweets he cares still to this day so much about pro wrestling. Anyone that want’s to learn what this business is about go and train there because it’s worth every penny. It was worth all the 10 months of waiting and hearing people’s frustration all the 10 months of just learning was so worth it. It was an amazing time.
How would say the Rockstar Spud character has evolved throughout your time in TNA?
From the chief of staff, it’s kind of evolved now. When I was in OVW I didn’t have a place on the impact wrestling roster. Dixie Carter gave me a job she gave me the chief of staff role and I took pride in that. Absolute pride because I did anything for the Carter’s I did anything for her and anything for Ethan Carter. Now when she gets put through a table it all gets put on me and it wasn’t entirely my fault but Ethan Carter is so arrogant that he can’t see the wrongness that he does and they were partially his fault too. But it’s got to be someone else’s fault, he’s a Carter, what are the odds? Then he bullies his best friend that everyone saw on screen that he would do absolutely everything for him, absolutely everything. Worshiped the ground he walked on and everyone felt sympathy with that little guy and he finally fought back and everyone felt good about it. Then this guy (Ethan Carter III) tortured him for fighting back. It was pretty much just like Biff in Back to the Future. So what you see now in impact wrestling is about the closest thing you’re going to see to me, James Michael Curtain that you’re ever going to see on television. I’m so comfortable being me underneath the Rockstar Spud name, that’s me as a human being the wrestling fan, the wrestler, as a person. I am so comfortable to pick up a microphone any night and say what James feels. This is just how I felt in situations in my life and it’s such an amazing feeling when you come full circle and you’re not pretending anymore. Its just you being you and it’s awesome. It really is an awesome feeling with where everything is at right now and I’m really excited about where everything is going to go.
What was it like to work for so long alongside the head of the company, Dixie Carter?
I feel I have a great relationship with all my peers but after British Bootcamp I had a good relationship with Dixie. Every so often she’d say hello and stuff like that. She’s a really good woman. Every opportunity I had to save her life, I had to save her life if I didn’t I’m fired, you do realise that? There’s no room for error. She’d want it perfect like we all do. I wanted it more than perfect she wants it even more perfect. So we have to get it right the first time. Working with her was amazing because she was such a great antagonist to the audience that there’s this little man pointing at her and worshiping her like she’s the Queen when everyone knows she’s surrounded herself with yes men just to appease her own ego. Brilliant! People couldn’t wait to see someone put her through a table. Couldn’t wait to see her get her come upping’s. They didn’t think it would happen. Well I was in New York City when it did happen. I’m lying on the floor and the ground was shaking. It was amazing. A really amazing spectacle to see. She was seriously injured after that and I respect her even more. She’s taken her licks when she didn’t have too and I fully respect her as a performer and respect her as a boss, I respect her for that. I respect her as a human being even more so.
As a smaller wrestler, were there other smaller wrestlers that served as inspirations for you? Dynamite Kid?
I would have to pin point that the typical white meat babyface. Your Hulk Hogan’s, your John Cena’s, Your Ricky Steamboats, Your Ricky Morton’s, the Shawn Michaels. All those people that get their asses handed to them your Rocky Balboa guys, your Kyle Reese in Terminators. The guys that do a good job just to be a good guy and he’s got this obstacle that he’s got to overcome and he’s beating them and he’s beating him and all of a sudden he say’s no more and he just fights back. The immovable object is shaking and moving and you think that there’s a chance and that’s what got me. It wasn’t oh a small guy he’s just like me it’s nothing like that. It was everything I felt from the heart. That’s what got me. Just the connection with pro wrestling. The connection with movies, just entertainment in general. Just the connection. That’s what got me more than anything. It wasn’t any individual character. Its those moments. It’s that moment when Eddie Guerrero is bleeding to death against John Bradshaw Leyfield. Then as soon as he hits you he’s shaking and the building starts shaking you can just feel it the way he starts fighting back. The crowd is just amazing. That’s the stuff that dreams make.
There has been a lot of praise for your bloody match with EC3 recently. How happy were you with that match? Have you had many similar bloody matches in your career?
Probably not as much. I have had some boo boos in the past but that was a big boo boo. All I was happy with when it aired on March the 3rd was that people were talking about impact wrestling again. It’s great the people connected with it so much we went in there with the full intention of telling you not putting on a great wrestling match not putting on a great match. We went in there to tell you a story and give you a story that you’d never forget you’ve read. That’s what meant more to me. Everybody’s starting to say hey man, I know you guys rag on TNA and stuff but you guys really need to check this out. That’s what meant more to me than anything.
Come and see TNA. Come and see these young guys that have put on these amazing matches. Come and see the guys that have been here from day one. The guys like Eric Young, James Storm, Abyss, Bobby Roode, come and see these guys. They are still going and they are still killing it. You can read all the negativity in the world and if you’re reading it, you end up believing it without even watching it. Take time to just watch it once. Its Wednesday, please do it then. If its next Wednesday, please do it then. Take the time to just watch us just once. You’ll see that all the stuff that you reading is garbage. It’s just like being one of the cool kids, hey if they’re doing it, I’ll join in. You can be your own man, guys. Just go on in there and have your own opinion. Go on in there and make your own decisions. If you like it great tell someone, if you didn’t like it great tell someone why you didn’t like it. But don’t forget what you didn’t like because everyone is fully prepared to let everyone know what they didn’t like more they are of what they do like. It’s like a review of a hotel when you’re going on a holiday. The only people that go on those websites are the people that had a bad experience. The only people. So everyone gets the opinion, oh I’m not going to that hotel. Anyone that had good service don’t go oh, I had a great time because it’s expected that they had a great time, I know that may seem like a weird comparison.
Your recent feud with EC3 highlighted just what Rockstar Spud can do. What can you attribute the success of those matches and feud too?
When the stars align these things happen. When two people can carry each other and chemistry can happen. Two guys with a point to prove. Two guys with all the tools in the world and one gets told by the biggest company in the world that’s he’s not good enough and that lit a fire under him and for another guy being told his whole career that he’s not big enough and that he can’t do it. Oh, there’s a fire there. Its just two guys that are hungry. So hungry that they’re starving every day and everyday remember that they are only good as their last performance. I can’t put it any other way. We go in there balls to the wall and we go in there and tell stories. We go on in there and wrestle. We go on in there to entertain you and that’s it. That’s all we’ll ever do and it’s all we’re going to continue doing every Wednesday going forward. Starting on Wednesday you will see two hungry guys that just want it so bad everyday frothing at the mouth. Wake up think about pro wrestling, go to bed think about pro wrestling, eat, sleep, talk, repeat, pro wrestling.
Who would you say fans should keep an eye out for coming up through the x division (other than yourself?)
I would say Taryn Terrell from the Dollhouse. I would say Jessie Godderz, Chris Melendez, and Mark Andrews. Those are the ones that I would say. They are the ones. Taryn is doing a phenomenal job as the Knockout’s champion and being just the most spiteful b***ch, spiteful. Mark Andrews if given the opportunity he’s going to change the X division, I promise you. Chris Melendez, the man’s a walking hero an absolute hero and a really good man as well. He connects with the audience because of the sacrifice’s he’s made with his body and what a walking miracle that man still is not letting the fact that he has one leg stop him from doing what he wants to do. Then you’ve got Jessie Godderz who just broke away from the Bro Mans and with a look like that and a charisma like that the sky’s the limit for him. And Bram also. My God, the man’s a maniac absolute maniac I’ve never seen a performer like that. I implore you to just keep watching and because they’re hungry guys and they’re the future, man. They’re going to carry this company moving forward. They are going to carry this company to big things, I really believe that.
What can fans expect from Rockstar Spud moving into the middle of 2015 and beyond?
The next two weeks will be very telling as to where Rockstar Spud goes, where Rockstar Spud ends up, what’s going to happen to Rockstar Spud. I don’t know these are the most important two weeks of my life. Whether I sacrifice it all as I say or keep the x division title. The next two weeks are a very telling sign for my future. Who knows, who knows? I know I got into this business because I wanted to be the heavyweight champion and that’s not changed. But I’ve got a lot to live up to of my own expectations as it pertains to the x division championship. The next two weeks will be very telling for the rest of my career with impact wrestling and that’s all I can say right now. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I don’t own a delorean, Doc Brown is not my friend. I know that if you told me that I was going to main event Wembley arena against Ethan Carter the 3rd and the whole pro wrestling business was going to be talking about Impact wrestling because you two guys, I’d think you were crazy. If you told me that I was going to win the x division championship at Wembley arena in front of your home countrymen, I’d thought you were crazy. I would have thought you were crazy that if you told me as a kid that I was even going to be a professional wrestler. So who knows what the future holds.
Was there anything you’d like fans to look out for, promote or make aware of?
I could spout all day about you promoting Rockstar Spud but what I’d really like you guys to do is if you remember when the hair versus hair match between EC3 and myself aired and everyone in pro wrestling was talking about it and TNA again? And everyone was saying you really need to check this out watch impact wrestling. That’s what I want you guys to do. I don’t want you to come and look for me. Come and look for impact wrestling. Come every Wednesday night on Destination America @ 9/8 CT and watch impact wrestling. Watch all the guys tear the house down. Watch all the guys that have been there since day one, James Storm, Abyss, Eric Young, Bobby Roode, The Majesty, the guys that have been scrapping it out since day one. The guys that have kept this company at the forefront of pro wrestling. Also check out the new guys; Bram, myself, EC3, and mix it with absolute legends in the business like The Hardy’s. Please all I implore you is just to keep watching impact wrestling and just appreciate it. Watch how these characters interact with each other. We have the best professional wrestlers on the planet on our roster and the best wrestling show on the planet right now in my opinion. If you are missing out on that because of bunches of disgruntled people that don’t even watch our show but enjoy the bashing, please have your own voice. Show your impact. Let people know that you watch the show and let them know what you did like, what you didn’t like have an opinion on it. Its okay to not like things it’s okay to like things, it really is. But isn’t the world a much better place if we’re going to think of things in a positive light instead of a negative light? To me, negativity is like a disease and it spreads like a disease. The more negative you get the more negative you are the more positive you speak about pro wrestling the better for Impact wrestling, the better for Ring of Honor, the better for WWE, the better for Lucha Underground, the better for the entire industry. So go out there and have your voice and show your impact towards the company, please.